REEDSBURG—Mary Jane Vanderkin 73, of Reedsburg, passed away Saturday, August 10, 2019, at the Reedsburg Area Medical Center.
Mary was born on September 5, 1945, in Sheboygan County to Lloyd and Arlene (Brasser) Gahagan. She was raised on the same farm that her mother and grandparents had lived on. She was especially close to her father and shared his Irish humor and zest for life, finding the funny side of most situations. Her love of music and dance filled her home with many reasons to smile. She attended a one room grade school and Waldo High School, where she met the love of her life, then graduated with honors from Sheboygan Falls High School. After graduation, she worked at Citizens Bank in Plymouth. On May 2, 1964, she married her high school sweetheart, James Vanderkin, their marriage was blessed with four beautiful daughters. Mary enjoyed being a wife, mother and homemaker, trying to do little things to make her family’s life special, full of laughter, good food, and usually surrounded with children.
She made the decision to follow Christ at the age of twelve, growing in her faith throughout her life, having the assurance that God was with her and her family, wherever they made their home. After raising her family, she started Vanderkin Insurance Agency, enjoying helping clients for 25 years until her retirement in 2014.
Mary loved family and holiday celebrations, gathering grandchildren and great-grandchildren in their home, making sure everyone felt special and had tasted the special treats that she created for them. Her and Jim’s favorite place was sitting on the back patio on a warm day and evening remembering all the blessings that they had been able to share over their 55 years of marriage.
Mary is survived by her husband, James; daughters, Toni (Jeff) Benesh, Jill (Darrick) Geitz, Bobbi (Tom) Richardson and Jodi Staniewski; nine grandchildren; their spouses; and twelve great-grandchildren. She is further survived by sisters, JoAnne Braun, Bette Gos; and brother, Daniel (Louise) Gahagan. Brothers and sisters-in-law, Dale and Loretta Vanderkin, Thomas Vanderkin, Russell and Darlene Vanderkin and Warren and Carolyn Vanderkin; sister-in-law, Denise Vanderkin; many nephews; nieces; extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; son-in-law, Edward Staniewski; a niece, Chrystal; sisters-in-law, Roseleen Hanson, and Diane Vanderkin; and brothers-in–law, Roger Braun and Larry Vanderkin.
Funeral Services for Mary will be held Wednesday, August 14, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., at Trinity Baptist Church in Reedsburg. Pastor Mike Lopp, Senior Pastor, will officiate. Visitation will be on Tuesday, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at Farber Funeral Home in Reedsburg, and on Wednesday, at the church, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow services at Greenwood Cemetery.
A memorial fund has been established in her name.
Farber Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.